Spinoff from SHBreeding thread -- how are your tb yearlings going under saddle?!
I keep peeping at the Sport Horse Breeding thread on 'how are your 2011 yearlings', thinking someone will surely start chatting about how theirs are under saddle, how they did their first trot or first canter step or first trail ride or whatever.
But they seem to be stuck on how tall or what color!
Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I'd love to gauge how my Tb yearling (20+ months) is doing and compare (for fun) what all anybody else is doing with theirs!
Mine is 20 days under tack (I know, I know, a little late) but going well enough. Some days comes out quiet and soft, others (like yesterday) rides like she's 16 hands, not 15, and breathing fire. Has done baby flatwork in the arena (walk halt transitions, big circles, easy figure 8s, step over the pole exercises, a short trot, and -- my favorite -- stand quietly in the center as the trainers'-hack while I teach a (short) lesson to someone else!
She's done a handful of short trail rides - over the bridge, past the neighbors' dogs, thru the (shallow, easy) river. Check, check, check!
My brother in law over at Hickory Tree is doing all of the above (no river, but he has a training track!) and his are doing all of that and more alone, no less! He's jogging his a circuit of the track (soft and quiet and slow).
What all is everyone else up to with theirs?
I'd love to hear some intelligent input on what everybody does schedule-wise, with their young horses. 30 days then put away? 30 days then canter/gallop, and how it dovetails with precociousness and plans to run in summer or fall of 2 year old year. I've done plenty of race yearlings, but they were sold on, or went on to the track or training center so I never followed them from day 1 to raceday, and the ones I've done on the farm here are just sportbred tb's, not really viable racehorses.
I'd like to this this filly might make a racehorse, so I'd love to gauge where I am/what next so I keep on track with her development. She's on the small side but pretty mature, and handling everything well.
I have mine broke at a farm so I don't have day to day knowledge of what they are doing--nor am I trainer--but my first thought is that your yearling if you plan to make her a racehorse is getting great foundation as a saddle horse but maybe not the critical bone remodeling. I'm seeing a horse train tomorrow about the same age as yours and he will gallop a mile and a half. Sometime around the beginning of the year, he will start his first speed works. He'll work his way up to a quarter, get kicked out for 4-6 weeks, work his way up to a half and maybe around May or June he'll go to the track. Again if everything goes OK, we are looking at a start in mid to late summer.
My 2 were started September first, and were galloping on the track October first. They galloped thru October, then I turned them out and will pick them back up January first. February we'll start doing 1/8ths in 15 twice a week, and they will probably ship to the track around April 1. Hard to predict a start, Ive had some years when all my 2 year olds made it to the races, and some years when none do. Seems most make their first start mid summer to early fall, if they will run at 2.
My last foal is only half TB so I am taking it a little slower with her. She hasn't been backed yet but has been saddled and bridled many times and taught voice commands. Ground driving is the next step.
I have a race-bred Appaloosa (that will run with the Apps/Paints).....he's had seven rides, has been to the training track and loped around, walked through the gates and had the pony on both sides of him. Also been trail ridden around the farm, walked through the pond, etc. Haven't taken him to the back 40 yet but maybe this weekend.
We have a stallion who throws the best minds I have EVER seen. Nothing fazes these horses. Ours on the farm are going really well, have learned the jogger (OH MY GOD! a mechanical JOGGER! What BLASPHEMY!) and they're just doing maintenance work now a couple days a week until they go to the track in Feb/Mar.
Heard that a yearling my family is partners on (same stallion as mentioned above) had a rider up this past week sometime and was a perfect little angel. His half-brother and -sister have had their Moments. The same trainer has all of them and is so pleased with the difference between him and the older two.
Don't feel bad - we are just starting our guy. Just started with tack and will have him in the roundpen in a week or tow, as soon as we can send him to the other farm. Ours is a May foal, and we are going to get him ready for the 2 year old in training sale. We still have time...
I haven't started many yearlings, but I was advised to do lots of trotting with them through the fall/winter. From the first week of being backed, I worked up to 5, 10, 15, 20, then 25 minutes of trotting over the first 6-8 weeks (walk breaks as needed in the beginning). I rode in a big open field, gentle hills. On the cool windy days when they got a bit "spicy," I found the steeper hills and worked there... 5 minutes of busting tail up/down the hillside usually smoothed them out. I did brief canters with them every day, just 1-2 minutes picking up each lead and getting a change each way. When they jogged 25+min five times a day, without walk breaks, I added a bit more cantering. At that point, some either went on South to prep for 2 y/o sales, or they got a brief break.
In the sport horse world, it is blasphemy to start horses so young...but my attitude totally changed after working with my first yearlings. They are so impressionable at that age; breaking comes very easy, they are eager to learn and develop a fantastic work ethic.
“A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
? Albert Einstein
I'm on the other side of things. I don't like to start them as yearlings. I like to start them as early 2 year olds. Well, thinking about it, I do start them as yearlings doing groundwork, but wait until they are early 2 year olds until I get on them the first time. I don't like to race until they are late 2 year olds at the earliest.
My husband and I just started breeding our own. Our first foals are two year olds (coming 3 in 2013). They "belong" to my husband. He wanted to have them racing as 2 year olds, but that didn't work out for a variety of reasons, but they were both started well under saddle as 2 year olds and had done their groundwork as yearlings.
The second two foals we bred are yearlings (coming 2 in 2013) and they "belong" to me. I've just started doing groundwork with them. They'll probably be getting saddles on in the next month or so, and will get a rider for the first time when it starts to get a little warmer in the spring as 2 year olds. They'll (hopefully) hack all around, lots of jogging, then pick up cantering with "bursts" uphill. To (hopefully) run as early 3 year olds.
We will train our own, and train on the farm if that makes any differnce. All 4 of our homebreds were late foals--all in May, except one the first week of June.
We have canter! We have canter!!
Feeling rather backward and provincial after reading all the high-stepping your yearlings are doing, I buckled down on little Nickelodeon today and worked her into her first canter! Trail ride (well, road ride b/c of rain/squishy footing, down the endless dirt roads around here) with 2 quiet companions. She was all work ethic - quiet, obedient, interested, happy, marching along. Got to a long quiet gentle uphill - trotted a bit, then sat down and asked-asked-asked. Got a bigggg trot then asked the guy beside me on the big Irish hunter to step into canter (he was keeping step alongside). When he eased into it so did Nikki!! We cantered a good 100 yards and got more rhythmical as we went!!
I was so chagrined after watching the video posted above of the Florida filly that I realized I was coddling and wasting time. Thanks a million for the encouragement through your chitchat everybody.
Reading those '**my** yearling is 17 hands! And such a pretttttty bay!!!' threads on Sporthorse breeding, and hearing the yammering about breaking knuckleheaded 4 year olds makes my eyes bleed. I need to hang out here more often. You guys think like ..... professionals. : )